Publishing · Writing

All about “Life without Harry”

Most of you know I finished writing a book in August. I’ve been quiet about it so far, as the editing process goes on, but now, I’m ready to share. Here’s a teaser to hold you over until you buy a copy someday … because you will buy a copy.

What is the working title of your book?
Life without Harry

486889_10151256293916318_1495784855_nWhere did the idea come from for the book?
Last December, I was without a project. (See “I Quit.”) Then, I watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (viewing five-million-twenty-seven), and I realized how much I missed the world of Harry Potter! Images floated around my head, most notably an image of an owl landing on a car windshield in the middle of downtown Phoenix. Why? Dunno, but the image stuck, and well, so did the first scene of what would become Life without Harry.

What genre does your book fall under?
Adventure fiction with a side of magic-realism, romance, and comedy.

What is the one-paragraph synopsis of your book?
Xanax-dependent author Samantha Elliot is on deadline with a literary festival three weeks away when a white owl flies into her windshield and then disappears. This wouldn’t be the strangest thing, if not for the magic wand that soon shows up and the Invisibility Cloak that just happens to make Sam invisible. Then, there’s Paul Rudolph: the office crush who finally asks her on a date. With the help of anti-depressants and her friend, Julie, Sam must navigate an ever-escalating world of Harry Potter and an ever-hotter relationship with Paul while finishing a manuscript before her agent (who might be Voldemort) arrives for the literary festival … and possibly Sam’s head.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hard to say (since the characters are mostly based on real people), but I could see Zooey Deschanel as the lead and Ryan Reynolds as the romantic interest. (Who else is hot enough to portray a character based on my husband?)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Four months.

What other books would you compare this story to?
The magic of Harry Potter.
The humor of David Sedaris.
The fast-paced dialogue of Bunnicula.
The romance of The Princess Bride.
The occasional darkness of The Graveyard Book.

Drinking Butterbeers at Harry Potter World.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Life without Harry deals with the down and dirty of anxiety, depression, and the loss of a loved one to unexpected death. It is funny (because I love making people laugh), but in order for Sam to be a fully developed character, she has to have an internal darkness … because frankly I have an internal darkness. In order for the story to be well-rounded and complete, each of the characters must go to a dark place and, like Harry Potter, realize that hope, love, and friendship abound.

Why do you want to write and sell a book?
I have a card on my desk that says, “We must play all the keys, seek the tunes only we can hear, and deliver them to those outside our box.” I write to tell a story. I write because I have to. I write because God wants me to write; why else would He have given me the obsessive drive to do so? Mostly, though, I write to give people light and laughter in a world that is growing less and less funny.

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